Te Puni Kōkiri were honoured to host the Comprehensive Ainu Policy Office delegation last Waitangi weekend. Their visit to Aotearoa is a continuation of Japan’s interest in exploring deeper cooperation on indigenous policy development with Aotearoa.
Published: Monday, 20 February 2017 | Rāhina, 20 Huitanguru, 2017
Te Puni Kōkiri were honoured to host the Comprehensive Ainu Policy Office delegation last Waitangi weekend.
Their visit to Aotearoa is a continuation of Japan’s interest in exploring deeper cooperation on indigenous policy development with Aotearoa.
The delegation comprised of three government officials from the Council (Tokyo) and one academic from Hokkaido University (Sapporo).
Delegation spokesperson, Akira Matsunaga, said ‘the biggest issue they are facing at the moment is language revitalisation’.
“Of the 25,000 indigenous Japanese, only a very limited number of Ainu can speak and understand the indigenous language. Ainu elders are the last remaining speakers of the Ainu language, so we don’t have much time.”
“In this regard, New Zealand has a lot of experience that we would like to learn from," Mr Akira says.
The Comprehensive Ainu Policy Office is in the process of establishing a National Centre to assist the revitalisation of the Ainu culture.
During their visit, the delegation met with the Minister for Māori Development, Te Ururoa Flavell, NZ Māori Tourism and several Māori businesses to explore Māori culture, business, leadership and innovation.
To support the indigenous policy exchange, Te Puni Kōkiri hosted a Māori public policy seminar for the Council to develop their understanding of indigenous policy in Aotearoa.
Members from Te Puni Kōkiri Economic Wealth and Crown-Māori Relations teams collaborated with the Auckland and Rotorua Regional Offices to organise the 4 day programme.
Economic Wealth Manager, Taria Tahana, said, “It was a delight to host the Ainu Delegation from Japan”.
“We are proud to promote Māori innovation and leadership and visits like these provide a platform to build and strengthen our people-to- people links. Establishing an enduring relationship will support Māori to build our cultural competency and confidence to engage with Japan”, says Taria.
Mā whero, mā pango ka oti ai te mahi
With red and black the work will be complete – cooperation where everyone plays their part.